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Research Report 377 Rural drink-drive enforcement in the Southern Police District

Published: | Category: Safety, security and public health , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Drink-driving is a serious road safety issue, particularly in the rural environment, with a significant number of road users killed or injured on rural roads annually. However, up until recently, the issue of rural drink-driving has been overlooked, by both practitioners and researchers alike. In order to begin addressing this knowledge gap, in 2008, the New Zealand Police carried out a qualitative case-study within a rural community in the Southern Police District.

The main purpose of this study was to consider the problem of rural drink-driving, as understood by various local and district-level stakeholders.

The study also examined stakeholder perceptions around the effectiveness of police countermeasures in responding to this problem.

This study found that stakeholders had diverse understandings of the drink-drive problem within the case-study area. While police enforcement was understood to play an important role in addressing rural drink-driving, for some stakeholders there was no community-wide problem that warranted the investment of significant police resources.

In terms of this enforcement’s effectiveness, stakeholders identified numerous barriers which reduced the ability of enforcement to change drink-driving behaviours. In particular, local police resourcing, enforcement predictability and the need for a more holistic approach to the problem, were identified as key issues.

Keywords: drink-driving, enforcement, New Zealand Police, rural communities, Southern Police District

Publication details

  • Author:
  • Published: July 2009
  • Reference: 377
  • ISBN/ISSN: ISBN 978-0-478-34660-2 (PDF) ISBN 978-0-478-34659-6 (paperback) ISSN 1173-3764 (PDF) ISSN 1173-3756 (paperback)